Here in the UK, property owners and office managers have a range of fit out companies to choose from. But with construction becoming increasingly innovative and complex, selecting the right company for your office refurbishment can be a challenge. Finding the right company for your needs will come down to how well the fit out company you are considering responds to the following questions:
Do You Have Experience Working In My Industry?
References from previous clients are always important. But if these recommendations are coming from individuals or businesses that operate in different sectors, these references may not be so useful.
When looking at London office fit out companies, it is important that the contractor you choose has experience working in your industry because:
- Different industries will have different regulations and requirements which must be met.
- Your industry may be expected to deliver a unique experience or service to your clients or customers.
- The industry you are involved in may be a high-security environment where the fit out company will be responsible for handling sensitive and/or private information.
The company you are considering should leave you feeling as if they have the appropriate experience and credentials necessary to be remodelling the office space of an organization in your industry.
Do You Perform In-House Designs?
Not every fit out company you hire will be able to provide in-house design services. If you choose a company which outsources this task, you may find yourself facing two problems:
- Outsourcing the design process will prolong the duration of the project.
- Outsourced designers will have their own fees, most of which are far more expensive than if you were to choose an in-house designer who is employed by a professional office fit out company.
Should you decide to hire an office remodelling company that outsources this project, be sure to get in touch with the designer and ask for separate cost and time estimates. It is also important to know how long that designer has been working with that fit out company to ensure that both the designer and the fit out company are able to easily and effectively collaborate with one another.
How Do You Finance These Projects?
Most office refurbishment companies will require an advanced payment of anywhere from 10% to 20% of the estimated overall cost of the project. But that should not be the only capital which is being used for your project.
In order for the fit out to go smoothly, the company you are working with should already have the finances available to pay for the equipment, materials, and professionals to do the job. Ask the fit out company about how they finance these projects. The most reputable will have the funds already available to complete the job, so be cautious of any refurbishment companies that say they are still waiting for a loan from the bank.
How Detailed Are Your Estimates?
Carefully scrutinize the estimates you receive from fit out companies. If you notice a large variation in price, it is time to start looking at what is included in the estimate and what is being left out.
Some fit out companies in the UK will intentionally leave items out of their estimate just so they can provide a lower and more attractive quote to businesses. Unfortunately, businesses who choose these fit out companies are often in for a financial shock when they find themselves charged for numerous additional items at the end of the project. Make sure the fit out company you are considering provides you with as detailed of an estimate as possible, and that they answer any questions you may have about what is and what is not included in the quote.
Do You Employ Your Own Tradespeople?
Asking about the experience and the credentials of a fit out company is common sense. But what a lot of people overlook is asking about the experience and credentials of those who are working with the company.
This is what makes working with a fit out company that employs its own tradespeople ideal. You will be able to ask the company exactly who will be working on the project, gather their names, and do a bit of research into their backgrounds and experience.
With that said, choosing a contractor that subcontracts duties out to other professionals is not necessarily bad. If you do hire a contractor who subcontracts jobs, however, take the time to request additional information, such as:
- The names of the sub-contractors
- The licence numbers of the sub-contractors
- Their insurance details
- References and client testimonials
What Is Your Hiring Procedure?
Regardless of whether the fit out company has tradespeople who are regularly employed by them or they sub-contract jobs out to others, it is important for you to know that the company has a stringent hiring procedure in place. The company you are considering should be proud of the individuals they hire, and they should make sure they are hiring the most talented individuals to work on your project. Ask the fit out company:
- How they check the qualifications of their employees
- What type of training and experience they look for in their employees
- What sort of work ethic and values they expect from their team
Can You Handle The Scope of This Project?
The reason why many contractors and smaller fit out companies often abandon projects midway is because they simply did not have the materials, resources, or manpower to complete it. The company you are considering should be realistic with you about when and how they will be able to execute the project, as well as when it will be completed.
Generally speaking, the larger the fit out company, the larger and more complex of a project they will be able to complete. This is because larger fit out companies have the equipment and the resources necessary to ensure the successful completion of your project.